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Thread: Racism

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    United States Avalon Member Mark/Rahkyt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by Ernie Nemeth (here)
    Rahkyt for President!
    Rahkyt for retirement is more like it. City government is much different from State or Local, it is non-partisan in nature, which suits me just fine. The pressures upon those who run and win are enormous, from citizens and from business interests, which is as it should be I suppose. This is not really the space to discuss local politics as, for me, race does not factor into the equation. But thanks for the vote of confidence! I'm doing my best!


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  3. Link to Post #342
    United States Avalon Member Mike's Avatar
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    Default Re: Racism

    Wait what? Rahkyt for president? I like the sound of that.

    I think I'd make a good vice. Let me know if ya need me bro

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  5. Link to Post #343
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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by Catsquotl (here)
    Quote Posted by Rahkyt (here)

    So ... do y'all believe that black folks across the world will enslave, murder, rape and experiment on white people, if the tables were turned?

    About as many, As the whites or yellows or red would.
    Under the colors of our skins each and every one of us is capable of humanities best and worst.


    I do suspect that if the tables were turned. whites would call out racism the same as blacks do now, And after the dust settled many a black person would feel ill at ease when racism becomes an excuse to call out the so the called privileged whomever is the current ruling color on perceived racism where none was intended and feel .offended by their own perception, same as is happening a lot lately.





    WIth Love
    Eelco
    Catsquotyl,

    I understand how you feel and think and don't fault you for it but here is the problem. It is really convenient for the dominant class or race, or both to comfort themselves with the "if tables were reversed, we would get the same treatment," idea. This presupposes that whites would have gotten the same treatment by others when it's not been proven in recent centuries.

    The moral equivalency idea wraps something horrific in bright tissue paper tied together with the tiniest string of remorse. All this, while forcing a koombaya moment on those who are still experiencing the after shocks of past trauma.

    It's okay for people whose culture, race or caste have been dominant through coercion to feel awkward and uncomfortable about it. That is really tiny price to pay for past wrongs.

    ¤=[Post Update]=¤

    Quote Posted by Mike (here)
    Wait what? Rahkyt for president? I like the sound of that.

    I think I'd make a good vice. Let me know if ya need me bro
    If not him, then who? He seems to be the best person for the job. I swear he'd make the world a better place.

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  7. Link to Post #344
    Netherlands Avalon Member Catsquotl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by AutumnW (here)

    Catsquotl,

    I understand how you feel and think and don't fault you for it but here is the problem. It is really convenient for the dominant class or race, or both to comfort themselves with the "if tables were reversed, we would get the same treatment," idea. This presupposes that whites would have gotten the same treatment by others when it's not been proven in recent centuries.

    The moral equivalency idea wraps something horrific in bright tissue paper tied together with the tiniest string of remorse. All this, while forcing a koombaya moment on those who are still experiencing the after shocks of past trauma.

    It's okay for people whose culture, race or caste have been dominant through coercion to feel awkward and uncomfortable about it. That is really tiny price to pay for past wrongs.

    before the recent centuries there are accounts of afrikan's using slaves.
    The presupposition as you call it is all we have to go on. But knowing how humans behave I guess it's is a save bet to assume the worst in this case. No matter which color is the ruling class. It isn't as much a racial thing as it is a power thing. Those in power feel drawn to it and will miss-use it for personal gain regardless of the consequences. Those who wouldn't usually do not want to be in power or do so very reluctantly.


    I am aware as a white so called privileged middle aged male I know saying what I see is convenient. It doesn't make it less true though, Assuming things would be different if some tables were reversed is equally presumptuous.


    did you notice I did not say whites would be enslaved by the way, only that they would say they were discriminated against. There is no way of knowing what would have happened if things had played out differently.


    feeling awkward and uncomfortable is different from feeling I have to defend my right to simply exists. Like I said I will not apologize for being white, or "privileged" or male, or straight. I will treat others with respect and expect the same in return. No race, religion, caste or clan needed or exempt.


    with Love
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    Last edited by Catsquotl; 17th December 2019 at 05:41. Reason: addition
    ---
    Please leave some of your light everywhere you go.

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  9. Link to Post #345
    United States Avalon Member Mark/Rahkyt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Racism

    This article is a good example of how "science" in the form of statistics can create inequalities. Often, not purposefully, just as a function of the way the equations are created. Statistical problems are formulated based upon certain conditions, and lead to the creation of models. Models, just by sheer dint of the fact that we cannot ever completely know reality, are generally inadequate as descriptors of the world as we exist in it. But the process evolves over time and we do better when we know better.

    Beyond Racial Bias: Rethinking Risk Stratification In Health Care

    Leonard W. D’Avolio



    A recent study by Ziad Obermeyer and colleagues in Science identified a racial bias in a risk stratification algorithm that is used to prioritize patients for care management. Like most algorithms currently in use, it considers past cost to identify individuals most in need of help. Because white people tend to have higher medical expenses, they are prioritized over sicker black patients. The researchers show that if the bias is corrected for, the proportion of black people prioritized for care swings from 17.7 percent to 46.0 percent.

    Less than a week later, news of the study appeared in Nature, Business Insider, the Wall Street Journal, and Wired. The State of New York is investigating and threatening suit against UnitedHealthcare and others that employ such approaches.

    While this recent discovery is rightfully gaining attention, it is just one of many known biases and shortcomings of the health care system’s current approach to risk stratification. Obermeyer and his colleagues’ study and the concerns it raised offer an opportunity to carefully consider unintended consequences of the prevalent approaches of stratifying risk to find a new way forward.

    Flaws And Unintended Consequences
    The algorithms in question are decades-old adaptations of actuarial models. They rely mostly on claims (that is, billing) data as input. With the introduction of managed care in the 1980s, health plans needed a way to prioritize their care management activities. The same approach used to estimate the “risk” of populations was applied to predict individuals’ future health care use.

    Soon after these approaches were adapted to help care management teams prioritize their limited resources, researchers began publishing studies that identified deficiencies and unintended consequences. A systematic review of 30 risk stratification algorithms appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2011 concluded, “Most current readmission risk prediction models that were designed for either comparative or clinical purposes perform poorly.” Despite these findings, little has been done to address the problem in the past decade. A number of factors contribute to this poor performance:

    Reliance On Claims
    As the agreed-upon means of justifying reimbursement, claims data are one of the few widely available data standards in health care. However, the disease code assignments in claims files are notoriously inaccurate. While such errors may be less problematic for calculating the cost of a population over the next year, their effects can be amplified when assigning priority to individuals.

    Assumption That Past Cost Equals Future Need
    Hockey great Wayne Gretzky credits his success to skating to where the puck will be. In contrast, risk stratification algorithms direct care management teams to where the puck was by finding patients who already cost the most. Research has shown that for patients who use large amounts of health care services, the need often is intense yet temporary. Algorithms that prioritize those who consumed the most health services in the past are inadvertently prioritizing a number of patients nearing end of life and those whose medical needs are subsiding, thus creating a past-consumption bias.

    Use Of One-Size-Fits-All Formulas
    Many factors—including the nature and stage or severity of the disease, extent of social support, and number of preventable emergency department visits, hospital admissions, or readmissions—may be indicators of medical need. Yet, traditional risk scores ignore these factors, which can provide important context for prioritizing patients.

    This myopic approach leads to a type of condition bias in which the diseases that generate the most health care use are prioritized by risk scores. For example, people on dialysis or with late-stage cancer are more likely to be prioritized over people with early signs of type 2 diabetes because patients suffering from the former are likely to have accrued greater medical expenses than the latter. Yet, the greatest opportunity for clinical and financial impact is often in the earlier stages of disease.

    Use of one-size-fits-all formulas also introduces age bias; younger sick people are ignored by most algorithms in favor of older people with more chronic, complex conditions. For example, a child with rising risk of potentially fatal diabetic ketoacidosis is unlikely to be prioritized over a 55-year-old with a chronic condition that has led to intense spending over the past 12 months. This bias is particularly problematic for care management organizations serving high-need Medicaid and dually-eligible (Medicare plus Medicaid eligible) populations with a wide age range.

    The Impetus For Change
    Providers’ adoption of value-based contracts has led to significant new investments in care management. Organizations are expecting measurable returns from these investments in the form of improved outcomes and reduced medical expenditures. Different levels of care and interventions are being introduced to address specific needs at different times, often outside of the clinic. Examples include remote monitoring programs, more in-home and telemedicine programs for patients with chronic and complex needs, and community-based palliative care. These programs typically are costly to implement, thus raising the stakes for efforts to identify patients who are benefiting most and who are most likely to benefit.

    New data from electronic medical records, medical devices, and new technologies such as machine learning and natural language processing are introducing more opportunities to use data to identify the patients most likely to benefit—not necessarily those who cost the most in the past.

    The Way Forward
    As pointed out by Obermeyer and colleagues, the way forward is not as simple as swapping out one variable for another. Neither is the answer to simply apply new data and new math to the traditional method of risk stratification. To meet the evolving needs of care management and capitalize on access to new data and technology, we need to rethink our approach. The next generation of risk stratification approaches should:

    Use All Relevant Data, Not Just The Data That Everyone Else Has
    It’s no longer necessary or even appropriate to limit models to the same common denominator data that all institutions have access to (for example, claims). Just as companies such as Amazon and Google use all of the data at their disposal to tailor their approaches to selling books and advertisements to individual consumers, health care can use data to move beyond one-size-fits-all approaches to risk stratification.

    For example, Cyft, the analytics company I work for, recently collaborated with a care management organization responsible for the health of a Medicaid population. The care management organization cared for all ages of people with behavioral health needs. However, the state offered a special program for people younger than age 18 with behavioral health needs. Unfortunately, the organization’s risk scoring system did not consider age nor was it designed to detect patterns that would indicate behavioral health need. Without the support of customized risk stratification, referrals to the younger than-18 program were limited to patients already engaged with clinicians who happened to be aware of the state program.

    To help the team identify and prioritize those likely to benefit, we built two risk stratification models, one that was trained with (that is, learned from) the data of people younger than 18 years old and one trained on patients 18 and older. This approach prevented the younger people from being crowded out by older people with more health care use. Rather than prioritize based on cost, both models were designed to predict inpatient psychiatric admissions as a proxy for impending behavioral health need. The results of the two age- and condition-sensitive models were used to match individuals with interventions tailored to address their age- and condition-sensitive needs.

    As organizations capture more data—including clinical data in electronic medical records and care management systems, as well as survey data on topics such as activities of daily living and social determinants of health—this information can be used to prioritize patients, not just for care management but for the programs or interventions best suited to their unique characteristics and needs.

    Include Clinicians Throughout The Design Process
    Most risk stratification algorithms are licensed and installed with little feedback and even less design input from the clinical team they are intended to support. As a result, interventions may not adequately account for limitations in the clinical team’s capacity or workflows, and they may fail to achieve optimal outcomes. To maximize the potential for algorithms to advance positive results, models should be designed with a collaborative approach in which clinicians lead the discussion about intended use. In the state behavioral health intervention described above, the decisions to model by age and focus on inpatient psychiatric admissions were the result of a design process that included clinicians from the start.

    Evaluate Performance With Your Own Population
    Clinicians should not be asked to “trust” the results of models that were not evaluated within their own population. Importantly, a local evaluation means that the results of each model can be checked for inadvertent bias by analyzing the distributions of various subpopulations by age, sex, race, and disease.

    Use Appropriate Measures
    There is not a single “best statistic” for all stratification applications. Understanding which is the right tool for the job is critical for teams planning and evaluating their efforts. Unfortunately, clinical research has a tradition of measuring model performance with diagnostic accuracy measures that indicate how good a model is at predicting which people do not need help (negative predictive value). The commonly used area-under-receiver-operator characteristic (AU-ROC or c-stat), which relies on specificity, measures how well an algorithm predicts true negatives. Both risk stratification vendors and researchers benefit from this type of accounting, which favors correctly identifying the hundreds of thousands of people who are not the most in need versus their ability to identify the hundreds who are. However, these measures offer little insight to teams hoping to allocate limited resources to those most in need.

    The metric that matters for effective care management is how good the algorithm is at prioritizing people who do need help (true positives), or the positive predictive value (PPV) of the algorithm. Even more relevant is the PPV for the number of people the team can possibly reach within a given period of time. In other words, measuring the PPV of an algorithm applied to all 100,000 people in a population is less relevant than the PPV of the first 100 predictions per week if that’s the volume and frequency of outreach the care management program can achieve.

    Once Models Are Deployed, Conduct Ongoing Monitoring Of Performance And Output
    Most risk stratification models are static, yet they are deployed in evolving and complex environments. The introduction of new data sources, changes in reimbursement contracts and policies, and the redesign of care management programs are not uncommon. Without a system of monitoring and periodic assessment to determine whether the model is meeting the clinical teams’ needs, clinical end users may not notice that models are producing irrelevant or inaccurate results.

    Measure What Happens Next
    The best predictions are merely suggestions. To have impact, a care management program must lead to a series of cascading activities, from outreach to enrollment to intervention. Today, surprisingly few care management teams measure the activities or the outcomes of their programs. Those that do often rely on annual assessments and biased pre- versus post-evaluations.

    Moving forward, organizations that use stratification algorithms should do so as part of a system of ongoing measurement and improvement. Clinical teams should participate in the design of what’s measured to be sure that metrics are useful for advancing program goals. While an institution’s leadership may believe it is important to measure admission rates on an annual basis, care management is more likely to benefit from monitoring key metrics on a monthly basis, such as how many people identified as “at risk” received outreach from care managers, the number and method of outreach attempts, and enrollment rates. Measures of improvement should be compared against a control group with similar characteristics. Such information can be used to make incremental improvements that can help reduce admission rates over time.

    Obermeyer and team have done health care an important service. By diagnosing a major shortcoming of the current approach to prioritizing patients for care management, this research should help prompt organizations to think more carefully about the use of algorithms. In doing so, it is important to recognize racial bias as one of several unintended consequences—along with past-consumption bias, condition bias, and age bias.

    We now have a unique opportunity to modernize care management. It is time to replace the traditional, one-size-fits-all approach with models that are customized to local populations, informed by clinician expertise, and designed to prioritize those most in need. Deployment of these models should not be viewed as a one-time endeavor but rather as an evolving process aligned with a system of continuous quality improvement.

    Author’s Note
    The author is the founder and CEO of Cyft, a company that focuses on exactly this issue. He is also an adviser to other companies (Datalogue, Firefly Health) and philanthropies (the Helmsley Charitable Trust Foundation) that are responsible for using data to get the right care to the right people at the right time.

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    Default Re: Racism

    I just wanted to jump in with a personal anecdote.

    I dont experience racism, at least not in America( I did in Japan), but my wife does. She is Indonesian.

    I dont think that most people realize this is an issue because it is never pointed at them.

    One could easily think it is not an issue because the water signs no longer say "Whites only".

    I got a text from her telling me that she went out to lunch at a Korean BBQ place while she is in LA.

    She is first in line to be served, but is served last by the waiter(Koreans).

    This is in California. How do you imagine this goes in other parts of the country?

    She told me one time "The way I get treated with I am with you is different than when I am alone"

    This boils my blood.

    I do not have much to add here sorry.

    I would hope that other people on here who experience racism, big and small, please add your anecdotes to start to show the people on this forum what kinds of things they dont have to deal with.

    p.s.

    We went shoe shopping as a family this Christmas. Went to a shoe store we have been to tons of times. We walk in and I head to the mens area and start looking. Am approached at least two of three times by sales people. Find shoes. Buy leave the store to take niece and nephews to park while shopping continues.

    In talking to my wife about her experience, she was not approached once by sales person. My mother had to go get someone to help her.

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  13. Link to Post #347
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    Default Re: Racism

    One of the most racist countries I have ever been in was in S. Korea I think around 1971, the kids happily or was it anger, threw rocks at me as a was riding a bicycle and called me White monkey. I later found out the Koreans think they were evolved from bears and the rest of the world was evolved from monkeys. Luckily for me they didn't know how to throw rocks very well.

    I actually observed a lot of racist asian barbs especially to White women. All over asia when I was stationed there, eg, Thailand, korea, Japan.

    It appears S Africa has it much worse now especially since the commie gov has got into power. Of course one can justify it all away with retributions needed against the whites, for their many years in power.

    https://concit.org/media-silence-on-...rican-farmers/

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  15. Link to Post #348
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    Default Re: Racism

    Race ism. Race schism. There must be many anecdotal views written on this thread, so I will add a small amount of mine. However, on this date being a reminder of Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birth, actually Jan. 15, I remember deeper truths.

    I remember the highest likelihood of agency hit squads, one of which did the shooting itself. I remember the King family, knowing full well the truth, searching for the truth in court of an agency of the u.s. gov't's guilt in the assassination and not any guilt of james earl ray, after they had lengthly conversations with him.

    I would ask any black man why he would work for an agency that has never been held culpable for the death of Martin, providing the weapons that were used in Malcolm's murder, for inserting provocateurs as operatives in any empowerment movement, all done primarily for opposition to the profiteering war in Vietnam, the one step over the line in the most personal of self-sacrifices against evil. In this all I see no disconnect from economic and racial equality.

    I find it hard to listen to the many obfuscations of the truths this great man shared with us, even while understanding the mechanisms of manipulation within academia, the media and the profiteers. I remember the turn to truths, from those that live far beyond hate, that Malcolm shared when he realized the common values we all share. Medgar Evers and millions of those as worthy as any other that ever lived who were victimized by the hatred, the greed and the fear. At the same time I hold no white guilt for the sins of other souls, as I know the temporary time limit of this human skin and the illusion of any value it does and does not have. I'll be working in the fields while others waste time blaming.

    I also remember the abject stupidity of racism within those with their culturally embedded predispositions to self-destruction, given life through those same hate and fear based habituations. They are just too dumb to not know the great value and soulful nourishment that diversity creates.

    I also rail at the ignorance of those who simply do not allow all to be as human as each other, just as good, just as f***ed up, just as normal, just as pre-occupied, just as brilliant, just as prejudiced, just as self-destructive, as capable and as culpable as any.

    And, unless you have stepped up and in for others who are not of the majority wherever you live, when these challenges have threatened your income, your financial security, your personal freedom and your physical health...you do not know what it takes to be here and be of any worth. Your discussions about equality hold no merit with me. For me it has often been a matter of the rights of opportunity given as the duty of anyone in any government. It has almost always been the direct reality of economic equality not being given and even searched for when it is not present.

    Being a member of the film world I am aware of how challenging it is at times to just be me and try to get work. The reality is that until the b.s. of discrimination, in it's many guises, is at hand I'm just enjoying the work and the company I keep. You'd never know who I was beyond my work unless the toilet stopped working.

    Being different is not a skill set we put on our resumes. If it wasn't for having a depth of respect from others for my work ethic and my skills I would have had no work at all.

    I say this as it is very odd being a person of no color at all, so say the blind, bringing up the fact that not one hispanic has ever held the highest position of those in construction, as a major coordinator, in the state with the highest percentage of hispanics in the country.

    I even suggested to a good friend that the next time I am hired on in this position, one I've held before, that after I hire him as a general foreman I'd switch positions with him, making him the first hispanic high end coordinator. The only problem with that is he refused the offer since he loves to work as much as I do and, as he noted, I'm the one with the gift and love of this communication and the intense juggling the job requires.

    Struggling to get work in that same position I suggested to another film union friend that I state in my resume that I look for work on film projects that have a moral base, an inspiring storyline and an insight into the human condition. My friend said I might as well ask not to be hired and he reminded me that our work does not function on morality and that, especially in this 3rd world state, it has a long way to go until it treats it's workers well, without having to be litigated into some semblance of human decency, even as it has now turned anew to a focus on adhering to federal labor laws and ASA contract guidelines.

    With new leadership in a key role, that is balls to the wall about enforcing equality and focussed on harassment prevention, at least it is on the map now. Despite the newness, the old white guard, that, thru blackballing as it's defense to being exposed on it's endless pay to play criminality, had deliberately forced many to move onto new careers, or move to another state. That crap has had a long lasting negative effect on those keys, leads, scenics, and foremen all now in upper hiring positions.

    In this case and in this state equality cannot be legislated or ruled into being, especially where the union is not a hiring hall, thus making seniority, skill, compatibility and ethics only the personal choice of those doing the hiring. It is not merit based though the union always claims that to be it's moral charter on a national scale. Again, attacking racism seems to be central to gaining equality on many levels. But Hey....tilting at windmills and giving an energetic series of F**ks doesn't work when you're alone. It has never given me work.

    Of course I would expect my skills to be the only determining criteria, just as it would be rare for a production to know that I demand equality along with safety, on time progress and pro-active dispute resolution and then use that as a determinate factor in choosing me. I still just want to work. I move on.

    By the way, and central to the racism between whomever here, the racist views of the new mexican hispanics against Mexican immigrants is in stark contrast to the less overt racism of the Californian mexican-americans against Mexican immigrants living in that state. It seems to aggravate me much more than the hard working Mexican immigrants here. The Spanish "citizens" here, sometimes from centuries old lineage, are shocked when i bring it up to them, but they don't deny it. Idiots.

    Not for me. I may have to move to another state, or another country, or create work in another field for my future. We'll see. In my life I really don't have time for the prejudiced. I live in the color and the challenge of the personalities I work with.

    Listening to my son and his stays in south america I see a stark contrast in the lives of those who are discriminated against, yet live in "democracies". It is always those who, like Lula, raise the common economic lives of the poor who are attacked. It is no coincidence that those being uplifted, who most often only want the opportunity to work for a humane wage, and not to gain some welfare, are of color not shared by those in control. It may be that overt racism can be dealt with much easier than living in any place where lip service pretends to equally provide opportunity. It is never a difficult thing to see, even as the lives of many are complex.
    Last edited by Hym; 21st January 2020 at 19:13.

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    United States Avalon Member Mark/Rahkyt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by Praxis (here)
    I do not have much to add here sorry.

    I would hope that other people on here who experience racism, big and small, please add your anecdotes to start to show the people on this forum what kinds of things they dont have to deal with.
    You have added MUCH value. Thank you so much.

    These are the kind of anecdotes that make it real for folks. I also have had to go find folks to wait on me at stores, have received my food after a number of other folks of different persuasions have come into the restaurant and ordered, am passed over to be helped in different contexts. Because these kinds of experiences are so common, it makes folks subject to them hyper-sensitive and we watch carefully. It is a form of paranoia that isn't good for you, and I'm speaking from personal experience here. It is sometimes hard to see the best in folks when you have to experience these kinds of things as a common occurrence. And, sometimes, you make an accusation about a perceived action or lack thereof in these situations that the person accused does not even realize they've done or not done. And so, they take offense and you're off to the races.

    It is so tiring. And stressful.

    I think you made a good point about people of the majority population in the USA and Europe not really being familiar with these types of experiences because they are not subjected to them. All of the examples you mention are familiar to me, for instance and yes, it happens to all minority groups, perhaps in all countries where there are minority groups. I cannot speak to the reality of that because I cannot know it, but I do admit that it is a possibility.

    ¤=[Post Update]=¤

    Quote Posted by James Newell (here)
    One of the most racist countries I have ever been in was in S. Korea I think around 1971, the kids happily or was it anger, threw rocks at me as a was riding a bicycle and called me White monkey.
    How did that experience make you feel at the time? How old were you and is it a formative memory for you, if I may ask?

    Quote Posted by James Newell (here)
    I actually observed a lot of racist asian barbs especially to White women. All over asia when I was stationed there, eg, Thailand, korea, Japan.
    What do you mean when you say a lot and what do you mean when you say "barbs"?

    Quote Posted by James Newell (here)
    It appears S Africa has it much worse now especially since the commie gov has got into power. Of course one can justify it all away with retributions needed against the whites, for their many years in power.
    I agree, it is not possible to justify retribution as anything other than what it is. Revenge. How do you justify oppression in the first place? And is it your belief that the white farmers are being oppressed in South Africa?
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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by Praxis (here)
    I do not have much to add here sorry.

    I would hope that other people on here who experience racism, big and small, please add your anecdotes to start to show the people on this forum what kinds of things they don't have to deal with.
    I can totally agree with the above comment. While we all have probably experienced some kind of racist slur or incident of some kind in a lifetime. I don't see it as very important.
    Martin Luther Kings statement of " Judge a person by his character and not by his skin color" is probably one of the best summations of living with your fellow man.

    I might add to that, don't judge a person by his politics or religious beliefs either.

    I think we have to be aware as Mankind as a group that there are some people or groups that love to create differences to sow discord. How many wars and death have been caused by mocked up "differences"? Divide and conquer is a time tested technique of conquering a group, nation and even a planet.

    My prior post re S. Korea and Asia was probably to open up an Asian side to all this. Not to incite. The Asians back then were having new worlds opened up, and my comments were simply observations. It was an interesting feeling to be the only blond guy walking among the masses there, I kinda liked being a minority. The white women would get far more stares than me.
    Last edited by Bill Ryan; 22nd January 2020 at 21:34. Reason: fixed quote formatting

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    Default Re: Racism

    What a pleasure to read your writing, Hym. Thank you for sharing!

    Quote Posted by Hym (here)
    I remember the highest likelihood of agency hit squads, one of which did the shooting itself. I remember the King family, knowing full well the truth, searching for the truth in court of an agency of the u.s. gov't's guilt in the assassination and not any guilt of james earl ray, after they had lengthly conversations with him.
    This is so, MLK knew full well the power of the forces arrayed against not only him, but anyone who threatened the status quo. This video shows a man who knows he doesn't have long to live. It is one of his last, if not his last, public appearance before his assassination.



    Quote Posted by Hym (here)
    I would ask any black man why he would work for an agency that has never been held culpable for the death of Martin, providing the weapons that were used in Malcolm's murder, for inserting provocateurs as operatives in any empowerment movement, all done primarily for opposition to the profiteering war in Vietnam, the one step over the line in the most personal of self-sacrifices against evil. In this all I see no disconnect from economic and racial equality.
    I don't speak for all black men who've worked for the military industrial complex or government, but as one who has done and is currently doing that, I believe I may be able to shed some light on your question. Blacks have fought for this nation since the American Revolution; recall Crispus Attucks, the first to die during the so-called Boston Tea Party. In every conflict. Recall the Buffalo Soldiers, who fought against native folks during the frontier years.

    Past some originating generations of enslavement, the tie to Africa dissipated, as such things occur and people become creatures of their lived landscapes. Over many, many generations of trauma and pain, of life and love, of being tools of the control matrix while virtually - and physically - building this nation from the ground up, watering its soil with blood, sweat and tears, black Americans have come to feel a sense of ownership of this land. Not by dint of privilege but by dint of hard, soul-aching work, presence and sheer grit. Of surviving against all odds, of defeating attempts at genocide and by being so strong and resilient in the face of all efforts to deny, denigrate and destroy us physically, mentally and spiritually by an oppressor system and those who have propagated it.

    We believe we ARE this nation. We are its promise in action. We are the proof of this system's full potentiality in effect, as in, the guarantee and promise of freedom to those who fight for it. Well, who has fought for it more than us? Not only against enemies foreign but also enemies of that very freedom the Constitution and Declaration enshrine, within.

    You will never see black people leaving this nation en masse. And here, I'm speaking of those of us whose ancestors have been here for hundreds and thousands of years, as mine have. For one, we have no place to go, we are mixed, black, white and native. A new people, genetically engineered by slave masters and love. We are as much a part of this landscape as anyone who can be considered such and we are more a part of it than many who claim it as a mere vestige of their inherent expression of European-derived privilege.

    We work against those elements of the system that seek to keep us disenfranchised, that seek to destroy us from the face of the earth and that work occurs within the system and without.

    Martin saw no disconnect either. Which is why he sought to hold an interracial poverty march, right before his assassination. It has always been true that blacks and poor whites have had more in common than apart. President Lyndon B Johnson said it best: "If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you."

    Quote Posted by Hym (here)
    I find it hard to listen to the many obfuscations of the truths this great man shared with us, even while understanding the mechanisms of manipulation within academia, the media and the profiteers. I remember the turn to truths, from those that live far beyond hate, that Malcolm shared when he realized the common values we all share. Medgar Evers and millions of those as worthy as any other that ever lived who were victimized by the hatred, the greed and the fear. At the same time I hold no white guilt for the sins of other souls, as I know the temporary time limit of this human skin and the illusion of any value it does and does not have. I'll be working in the fields while others waste time blaming.
    I appreciate your personal perspective greatly. The work engaged, is the Great Work, of alchemical transformation of a landscape and a people who are One, but who don't realize it yet because we are set against each other so skillfully by the masters of deceit and manipulation.

    Quote Posted by Hym (here)
    And, unless you have stepped up and in for others who are not of the majority wherever you live, when these challenges have threatened your income, your financial security, your personal freedom and your physical health...you do not know what it takes to be here and be of any worth. Your discussions about equality hold no merit with me. For me it has often been a matter of the rights of opportunity given as the duty of anyone in any government. It has almost always been the direct reality of economic equality not being given and even searched for when it is not present.
    Yes.

    Quote Posted by Hym (here)
    Listening to my son and his stays in south america I see a stark contrast in the lives of those who are discriminated against, yet live in "democracies". It is always those who, like Lula, raise the common economic lives of the poor who are attacked. It is no coincidence that those being uplifted, who most often only want the opportunity to work for a humane wage, and not to gain some welfare, are of color not shared by those in control. It may be that overt racism can be dealt with much easier than living in any place where lip service pretends to equally provide opportunity. It is never a difficult thing to see, even as the lives of many are complex.
    Such a beautiful share. Props and appreciation.
    Last edited by Mark/Rahkyt; 5th February 2020 at 15:25. Reason: bold a word

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    Default Re: Racism

    Thank You, Rahkyt.
    I would rail against any black exodus from here. That'll never happen.

    When I noted that agencies were likely responsible for the assassination of Dr.King I also meant the army squads assigned to the area at the time.


    Here is an indelible experience I had when I was young.....

    When I was 7 my Dad took me to a teamsters union strike in L.A. I don't recall him taking any other of my siblings to those picket lines. I remember the cold of the very early morning that day and welcoming the warmth as the day went on, but that happened very slowly as I wasn't used to staying so relatively still for so long. I recall how odd it was for all of the men there not working and watching his friends stopping the truckers to talk to them.

    At one point in the morning a dark panel van pulled up. Police got out, big police and they quickly began harassing the strikers. My Dad told me that they were the Metro Squad. After they pushed the strikers around they singled out a Mexican-american man and put him in the van. There may have been more than one van and more than one police car there. I don't remember because I was so focused on the attack against the workers there.

    As the van and the other cars were pulling away I asked my Dad what were the cops doing. He said that they were going to take this man, one of the loaders/swampers who worked with him to get his CDL, beat the crap out of him and then drop him off somewhere it would be hard for him to get back. I was shocked by this and asked him why. He said those cops were hired by the company they were striking against. He then said "He (my Dad's friend) is paying a price for us." The majority of the drivers and their loaders were black or hispanic at that time and most likely are the same majority to this day.

    My son's birthday, August 28, is the memorial day that Dr. King made his "I Have A Dream" speech. That makes sense on many levels if you ever get to know him.
    Last edited by Hym; 24th January 2020 at 20:19.

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    Default Re: Racism

    Hello, Hym, thank you again for sharing your experiences. I am appreciative of and encourage all who wish to do the same, these are stories of real people living real experiences. None of the issues we discuss in this thread are hypothetical or ideological, they have to do with what we go through and how we interpret, through our subjective lenses, the world around us. None of us has all the answers, but we all possess a small piece of it. And it is only by sharing those piecees that we can see the larger picture and understand the parameters of what is truly going on and why.

    Quote Posted by Hym (here)
    As the van and the other cars were pulling away I asked my Dad what were the cops doing. He said that they were going to take this man, one of the loaders/swampers who worked with him to get his CDL, beat the crap out of him and then drop him off somewhere it would be hard for him to get back. I was shocked by this and asked him why. He said those cops were hired by the company they were striking against. He then said "He (my Dad's friend) is paying a price for us." The majority of the drivers and their loaders were black or hispanic at that time and most likely are the same majority to this day.
    This story is amazing and so pertinent. Your father's quote reminds me of something that I've spoken of before in this thread but that deserves revisiting, because it cannot be under-emphasized as it has to do with the very formulation of this nation and the current racial dichotomy that we are all trapped systemically within. What your father was speaking to directly and probably consciously is the very essence of the divide that was deliberately created by the British and then consolidated and continued by the American aristocrats that succeeded them in ruling this nation.

    Bacon's Rebellion occurred in 1676-77 and it was the first, and last, large-scale multi-racial uprising against a government in American history. People from across the class structure, to include indentured Irish and Africans, fought together against Indians, whom were the original target, and British forces that came in to bolster the government and suppress the rebellion. According to Wikipedia (which suffices for this general, descriptive purpose), this collective action by the general populace had the following effect:

    Quote The alliance between European indentured servants and Africans (many enslaved until death or freed), united by their bond-servitude, disturbed the ruling class. The ruling class responded by hardening the racial caste of slavery in an attempt to divide the two races from subsequent united uprisings with the passage of the Virginia Slave Codes of 1705.
    Racialized slavery and the obsolescence of indentured servitude had been coming for a while. Throughout the mid to late 1600s laws had been passed locally and at the state level making it more difficult for African descended folk to obtain freedom, from enshrining intergenerational enslavement to tying enslavement to the status of the mother, which was designed in order to absolve slave masters from the responsibility of all of the rapey behavior they were involved in as well as the responsibility to and care of the children produced by that rapine behavior, throughout that era of American history, which spanned hundreds of years.

    It was also at this point that the ruling class began to offer the previously indentured Irish jobs on the slave patrol, as overseers and other now middle-class occupations, as kind of a barrier between the enslaved and those who, at that point, were beginning to be considered as a singular, white race. So this was the very beginning of what is now a global consideration, that those of European descent are one people, heretofore known as "white" people. Prior to this point, this was not a political designation. Europeans were and are prejudiced against each other, generally along the lines of core (Great Britain, Germany, France, etc.) versus periphery nations (Italy, Portugal, Greece, etc.). But in America, in the late 1600s and early 1700s, whiteness as a bulwark against blackness, was formally institutionalized.

    As an examination of Bacon's Rebellion will reveal - taken alongside a further exploration of American history from the viewpoint of organized resistance against the depredations of capital - it has always been about the money.

    Land was also granted to the Irish and other lower-class whites, especially as the westward expansion continued but in the east, this practice served to invest those lower class whites in the system and its propagation and further separate them from the blacks they had allied themselves with against governmental forces previously.

    As yours and your father's experience attests, Hym, those same practices are in effect today. They have been institutionalized over time and continue to separate us, or, as occurred in your personal experience, help us to understand the overall plight of the lower and underclass by way of graphic and poignant example.

    His statement to you, "He is paying a price for us" is an exact understanding of white supremacy and capitalism as practiced in America. The lower classes in general and the black and brown inhabitants of those strata, pay the price in pain and suffering, in living lives of the permanent underclass, which serve to strike fear into whites and select blacks and browns inhabiting the upper lower and middle classes. That fear is seminal, in that it says to all of us that the jobs we hold are at the sufferance and will of those who create the jobs and they can be taken away at any time. The beating that brown (or black) man took served further to show all of the workers, but white workers in particular, that their job status and economic stability is ephemeral and dependent upon their acquiescence to the demands of capitalism and the institution of racial hierarchy. As perception extends up the class structure, these realizations become more stark as, the higher you rise, the harder the fall. The message seems to be, death and destruction of all you hold dear, if you do not comply.

    I would like to emphasize now that this generalization stands examination across the board and also across the span of American history. Any objective review of this nation's history and the codification of racialized slavery, the subsequent Black Codes following emancipation, Jim Crow institutionalization, Segregation and then partial de-segregation and integration, in residence as well as employment, will show this interpretation to have been and to be, even still, in some ways, the norm.

    Quote Posted by Hym (here)
    My son's birthday, August 28, is the memorial day that Dr. King made his "I Have A Dream" speech. That makes sense on many levels if you ever get to know him.
    A wonderful, blessed synchronicity, which speaks to your family's purpose and destiny, perhaps, if you are a believer in such things. It is a pleasure holding these conversations with you.
    Last edited by Mark/Rahkyt; 29th January 2020 at 16:53. Reason: grammar

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    Default Re: Racism

    It is good to have an understanding of the history, especially of the parts not generally told. The parts you don't learn in High School, the parts even colleges and universities generally don't get into very deeply.

    The reason why it is so good is because the devil is in the details, where it is difficult to make generalizations or blanket statements with no justification in history or even logically, because the actual reality is there with you, before you, engaged and understood, made a part of your general corpus of knowledge.

    This article documents that background of scientific racism in America, doesn't get into Darwin or Linnaeus or the other proponents that informed the rising Eugenicists of the late Victorian era and early 20th century, but it informs, generally and provides a structure for further knowledge to augment. The links provide other tales that inform the present as well.

    A brief history of the enduring phony science that perpetuates white supremacy

    The mysterious and chronic sickness had been afflicting slaves for years, working its way into their minds and causing them to flee from their plantations.

    Unknown in medical literature, its troubling symptoms were familiar to masters and overseers, especially in the South, where hundreds of enslaved people ran from captivity every year.

    On March 12, 1851, the noted physician Samuel A. Cartwright reported to the Medical Association of Louisiana that he had identified the malady and, by combining two Greek terms, given it a name: Drapetomania.

    Drapetes, a runaway, and mania, madness.

    He also announced that it was completely curable.

    Negroes, with their smaller brains and blood vessels, and their tendency toward indolence and barbarism, Cartwright told fellow doctors, had only to be kept benevolently in the state of submission, awe and reverence that God had ordained.

    “The Negro is [then] spellbound, and cannot run away,” he said.

    The Dawn of American Slavery: Jamestown 400 special report

    Cartwright’s presentation a decade before the Civil War was part of the long, insidious practice of what historians call scientific racism — the spread of bogus theories of supposed black inferiority in an attempt to rationalize slavery and centuries of social and economic domination and plunder.

    Here, enslaved people were beneath even the human desire for freedom. They had to be diseased.

    This thinking would thrive in the 18th and especially the 19th centuries. It would mutate, vary in perversion and persevere for 400 years right up to the present day. Starting with theories of physical and intellectual inferiority that likened blacks to animals — monkeys and apes especially — or helpless children, it would evolve to infer black cultural and then social inferiority.

    “What black inferiority meant has changed in every generation . . . but ultimately Americans have been making the same case,” said historian Ibram X. Kendi.

    Such thought exists today with pernicious assumptions about the current nature of black life and black people, still featuring age-old racist references to blacks as animals. It persists despite the advent of modern DNA science, which has shown race to be fundamentally a social construct. Humans, as it turns out, share about 99.9 percent of their DNA with each other, and outward physical characteristics such as hair texture and skin color, about which racists have long obsessed, occupy just a tiny portion of the human genome.

    Even so, many Americans, blind to the origins of racist notions, “think that there’s such things as black blood and black diseases and that black people are by nature predisposed to dancing and athletics,” Kendi said. “These are common ideas.”

    Modern examples — sometimes overt, sometimes seemingly springing from the collective American subconscious — underscore the insidiousness of pseudoscientific ideas about race that were first promoted in earlier centuries.

    Consider comedian Roseanne Barr’s use of an ape analogy in a tweet about Valerie Jarrett, an African American adviser to President Barack Obama, which led to the cancellation of Barr’s ABC television show.

    Now consider Cartwright’s claims in 1851 that, among other things, a Negro withstood the rays of the sun better because of an eye feature like one found in apes.

    Cartwright also speciously observed that the black man’s neck was shorter than a white person’s, his “bile” was a deeper color, his blood blacker, his feet flatter, his skull different.

    Anthony and Mary Johnson: the free black pioneers whose surprising story tells much about race in Virginia

    Yet, in addition to his keen eyesight, he had other animal-like senses, smelling better and hearing better than the white man.

    “Like children, [Negroes] require government in everything . . . or they will run into excesses,” Cartwright said. Slavery, he concluded unsurprisingly, was for the enslaved person’s own good.

    The twisted vestiges of scientific racism continue to inspire white hatred of and violence toward blacks today.

    “Anyone who thinks that White and black people look as different as we do on the outside, but are somehow magically the same on the inside, is delusional,” mass murderer Dylann Roof wrote in the crude manifesto that he posted on the Internet in 2015. “Negroes have lower Iqs, lower impulse control, and higher testosterone levels in generals. These three things alone are a recipe for violent behavior.”

    On June 17, 2015, Roof went into an African American church in Charleston, S.C., and shot nine black worshipers to death. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to death.

    'More sensation than reflection'
    Self-interested justifications for atrocities against and the oppression of African Americans go back to the 1400s and an early Portuguese defense of slave trading written by Gomes Eanes de Zurara, wrote Kendi, a professor at American University in Washington, in his book, “Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America,” which won the 2016 National Book Award.

    Zurara wrote that captured Africans had “lived like beasts, without any custom of reasonable beings . . . [and] only knew how to live in bestial sloth.” Once enslaved, their souls could be saved and their lives improved, he said.

    On this side of the Atlantic, Thomas Jefferson played an early and highly influential role in the establishment of pseudoscientific ideas about black racial inferiority.

    On Feb. 27, 1787, more than a decade after he helped write the Declaration of Independence, future president Jefferson published his book “Notes on the State of Virginia,” an extensive study of subjects including his state’s geography, climate, religion and its enslaved black population.

    The haunted houses’: Legacy of Nat Turner’s slave rebellion lingers, but reminders are disappearing

    The book made clear that when the revered Founding Father said it was “self-evident, that all men are created equal,” he was not including black people.

    “In general, their existence appears to participate more of sensation than reflection,” wrote Jefferson, whose livelihood depended on the existence of slavery. “In imagination they are dull [and] tasteless. . . . This unfortunate difference of colour, and perhaps of faculty, is a powerful obstacle to the emancipation of these people.”

    “Deep rooted prejudices . . . real distinctions which nature has made . . . and many other circumstances will probably never end but in the extermination of the one or the other race,” he wrote.

    It was perhaps the most damaging and enduring instance of scientific racism in American history, Kendi said.

    “This was one of the . . . best selling nonfiction books in early America,” he said. “And black and other anti-racist activists were arguing against Jefferson’s theory of black intellectual inferiority into the 1830s.”

    'Pervading darkness'
    In 1849, Samuel Cartwright was engaged by a Louisiana medical committee to investigate “the diseases and physical peculiarities of our negro population.”

    He seemed well qualified. The 57-year-old native of Fairfax County, Va., had practiced in Natchez, Miss., for 25 years, and his patients included his friend Jefferson Davis, the future president of the Confederacy. The same year the report was issued, he was appointed professor of “diseases of the Negro” at what is now Tulane University.

    He began his report for the Louisiana committee by reviewing “the anatomical and physiological differences between the negro and the white man.”

    Skin color was obvious.

    But “there are other differences more deep, durable and indelible,” he wrote. “The membranes, the muscles, the tendons . . . even the negro’s brain and nerves . . . are tinctured with a shade of pervading darkness.”

    Then there was the true cause of the enslaved person’s “debasement of mind,” he wrote.

    “It is . . . [the] defective hematosis, or atmosperization of the blood, conjoined with a deficiency of cerebral matter in the cranium . . . [that] has rendered the people of Africa unable to take care of themselves,” he claimed.

    The remarkable survival story of Angela, the first enslaved African woman recorded in Virginia

    Although Cartwright’s ideas were actually part of a long racist tradition, by the time he rendered them they had a new urgency, said Khalil Muhammad, professor of history, race and public policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

    The rise of the movement to abolish slavery “created a crisis of knowledge about . . . who people of African descent were in the hierarchy of man, and what precisely were they capable of,” he said.

    Until then, he said, despite pronouncements like Jefferson’s, science wasn’t essential to justifying slavery. Now, under threat, the then-250-year-old institution was direly in need of a “scientific” rationale.

    “There is a great convulsion before us,” Josiah C. Nott, a South Carolina physician, anthropologist and a future medical director in the Confederate army, told a Southern Rights Association meeting in 1851.

    “It is time that we should arouse from our lethargy and prepare for the crises,” he said.

    Nott offered his pseudoscientific rationale: “Look around you . . . at the Negro races,” Nott said. “Their physical type is peculiar; their grade of intellect is greatly inferior; they are utterly wanting in moral and physical energy.”

    Embedded within his speech was a not-so-hidden motive: The institution of slavery, he said, “has grown up with us from our infancy, it has become part of our very being; our national prosperity and domestic happiness are inseparable from it.”

    Evolutionary ladder
    Around that time, in 1850, an enslaved man named Jack stood before a camera in Columbia, S.C. His face was deeply creased, perhaps from age, perhaps from long exposure to the weather.

    He was described as a “driver” — of what was not specified. Livestock? Wagons? People?

    Originally from Guinea, in West Africa, he was owned by one B.F. Taylor Esq., who had a plantation in Columbia, S.C.

    That March, Jack, who looked about 40, and six other enslaved men and women, were brought to the studio to have their photographs taken. They were specimens, and for the most part they were pictured naked.

    The images were made at the behest of Louis Agassiz, the famous Swiss American scientist and Harvard professor, who was studying what was called “polygenism.”

    This was the latest “scientific” tool applied to the idea of supposed black inferiority: the now-discredited notion that man sprang from numerous sources and that “races” could therefore be categorized and ranked.

    It would carry well into the 20th century.

    The photographs were “designed to analyze the physical differences between European whites and African blacks, but at the same time . . . prove the superiority of the white race,” photography scholar Brian Wallis wrote in a 1995 essay on the pictures.

    “In nineteenth-century anthropology, blacks were often situated along the evolutionary ladder midway between a classical ideal and the orangutan,” he wrote.

    The Bible was used to justify slavery. The Africans made it their path to freedom

    Such thinking went with the rise in the early 1900s of modern eugenics — the idea that a “race” could and should be purified by selective breeding and the elimination of flawed peoples.

    In 1916, a New York lawyer and racial theorist named Madison Grant wrote a notorious book called “The Passing of the Great Race.”

    Grant, whose father, a Union army doctor, had earned the Medal of Honor in the Civil War, believed in a rigid racial hierarchy, with “nordics” at the top and blacks and others at the bottom.

    “Negroes have demonstrated throughout recorded time that they are a stationary species and that they do not possess the potentiality of progress or initiative from within,” Grant wrote.

    His book was translated into several languages.

    One reader in Germany was especially admiring. He, too, mused about extermination, but of a different “race.” His name was Adolf Hitler, and he reportedly referred to his copy of the book as his Bible.

    In 1936, African American sprinter Jesse Owens smashed the ideas of Hitler and Madison when he won four gold medals at the Berlin Olympics.

    But Owens’s own track coach belittled the success of black runners: “It was not long ago that his ability to sprint and jump was a life-and-death matter to him in the jungle.”

    The old notion lived on, and so have many white social and economic advantages.

    Even when “Americans have discarded old racist ideas, new racist ideas have constantly been produced for their renewed consumption,” Kendi wrote.

    Some day, he hoped, the time will come “when Americans will realize that the only thing wrong with black people is that they think there is something wrong with black people.”

    ‘The haunted houses’: Legacy of Nat Turner’s slave rebellion lingers, but reminders are disappearing

    Freedom and slavery, the ‘central paradox of American history’

    Anthony and Mary Johnson were pioneers on the Eastern Shore whose surprising story tells much about race in Virginia history

    Magda Jean-Louis contributed to this report.
    Last edited by Mark/Rahkyt; 31st January 2020 at 17:39.

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    Default Re: Racism

    This guy really intrigues me, had to listen to his entire talk with Joe Rogan today. His name is Daryl Davis, and he is on a one man mission to end racism in America via education, the elimination of ignorance.

    I recall briefly stumbling across his unique and fascinating story some time back, hearing about the 200 or so Klan members who wound up walking away from it due to growing relationships with him, and even seeing photos of these friendships, robes and all if you can believe it!

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    When I saw he had done Rogan for 2 1/2 plus hours, I simply had to hear this man out.

    Here is the talk, comes with my absolute highest recommendation, especially about the first hour and twenty minutes or so describing how he started down the road of befriending, and eventually inspiring many high level Klan members to consider taking their lives in a different direction.

    Absolutely riveting. A great man imo!

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    Default Re: Racism

    Even though the beginnings of the modern science of genetics were in American slave studies, American eugenics movements of the late Victorian, Geography and Environmental Determinism and, a bit later, the Nazi concentration camps, its efficacy and current state of exploratory remorselessness has resulted in the application of the science to many questions that shed light on topics otherwise relegated merely to myth and whimsy. There are a number of questions regarding the issue of skin color that remain mysterious, it seems that the prevailing theory of cold climes being the cause for lightening skin coloration remains predominant, which makes sense environmentally, but does not necessarily account for all examples, for instance, the Inuit. This article does provide some context for the movement of peoples and the evolution of the European population.



    How Europeans evolved white skin
    By Ann Gibbons

    Most of us think of Europe as the ancestral home of white people. But a new study shows that pale skin, as well as other traits such as tallness and the ability to digest milk as adults, arrived in most of the continent relatively recently. The work, presented here last week at the 84th annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, offers dramatic evidence of recent evolution in Europe and shows that most modern Europeans don’t look much like those of 8000 years ago.

    The origins of Europeans have come into sharp focus in the past year as researchers have sequenced the genomes of ancient populations, rather than only a few individuals. By comparing key parts of the DNA across the genomes of 83 ancient individuals from archaeological sites throughout Europe, the international team of researchers reported earlier this year that Europeans today are a mix of the blending of at least three ancient populations of hunter-gatherers and farmers who moved into Europe in separate migrations over the past 8000 years. The study revealed that a massive migration of Yamnaya herders from the steppes north of the Black Sea may have brought Indo-European languages to Europe about 4500 years ago.

    Now, a new study from the same team drills down further into that remarkable data to search for genes that were under strong natural selection—including traits so favorable that they spread rapidly throughout Europe in the past 8000 years. By comparing the ancient European genomes with those of recent ones from the 1000 Genomes Project, population geneticist Iain Mathieson, a postdoc in the Harvard University lab of population geneticist David Reich, found five genes associated with changes in diet and skin pigmentation that underwent strong natural selection.

    First, the scientists confirmed an earlier report that the hunter-gatherers in Europe could not digest the sugars in milk 8000 years ago, according to a poster. They also noted an interesting twist: The first farmers also couldn’t digest milk. The farmers who came from the Near East about 7800 years ago and the Yamnaya pastoralists who came from the steppes 4800 years ago lacked the version of the LCT gene that allows adults to digest sugars in milk. It wasn’t until about 4300 years ago that lactose tolerance swept through Europe.

    When it comes to skin color, the team found a patchwork of evolution in different places, and three separate genes that produce light skin, telling a complex story for how European’s skin evolved to be much lighter during the past 8000 years. The modern humans who came out of Africa to originally settle Europe about 40,000 years are presumed to have had dark skin, which is advantageous in sunny latitudes. And the new data confirm that about 8500 years ago, early hunter-gatherers in Spain, Luxembourg, and Hungary also had darker skin: They lacked versions of two genes—SLC24A5 and SLC45A2—that lead to depigmentation and, therefore, pale skin in Europeans today.

    But in the far north—where low light levels would favor pale skin—the team found a different picture in hunter-gatherers: Seven people from the 7700-year-old Motala archaeological site in southern Sweden had both light skin gene variants, SLC24A5 and SLC45A2. They also had a third gene, HERC2/OCA2, which causes blue eyes and may also contribute to light skin and blond hair. Thus ancient hunter-gatherers of the far north were already pale and blue-eyed, but those of central and southern Europe had darker skin.

    Then, the first farmers from the Near East arrived in Europe; they carried both genes for light skin. As they interbred with the indigenous hunter-gatherers, one of their light-skin genes swept through Europe, so that central and southern Europeans also began to have lighter skin. The other gene variant, SLC45A2, was at low levels until about 5800 years ago when it swept up to high frequency.

    The team also tracked complex traits, such as height, which are the result of the interaction of many genes. They found that selection strongly favored several gene variants for tallness in northern and central Europeans, starting 8000 years ago, with a boost coming from the Yamnaya migration, starting 4800 years ago. The Yamnaya have the greatest genetic potential for being tall of any of the populations, which is consistent with measurements of their ancient skeletons. In contrast, selection favored shorter people in Italy and Spain starting 8000 years ago, according to the paper now posted on the bioRxiv preprint server. Spaniards, in particular, shrank in stature 6000 years ago, perhaps as a result of adapting to colder temperatures and a poor diet.

    Surprisingly, the team found no immune genes under intense selection, which is counter to hypotheses that diseases would have increased after the development of agriculture.

    The paper doesn’t specify why these genes might have been under such strong selection. But the likely explanation for the pigmentation genes is to maximize vitamin D synthesis, said paleoanthropologist Nina Jablonski of Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), University Park, as she looked at the poster’s results at the meeting. People living in northern latitudes often don’t get enough UV to synthesize vitamin D in their skin so natural selection has favored two genetic solutions to that problem—evolving pale skin that absorbs UV more efficiently or favoring lactose tolerance to be able to digest the sugars and vitamin D naturally found in milk. “What we thought was a fairly simple picture of the emergence of depigmented skin in Europe is an exciting patchwork of selection as populations disperse into northern latitudes,” Jablonski says. “This data is fun because it shows how much recent evolution has taken place.”

    Anthropological geneticist George Perry, also of Penn State, notes that the work reveals how an individual’s genetic potential is shaped by their diet and adaptation to their habitat. “We’re getting a much more detailed picture now of how selection works.”

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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by Gracy May (here)
    This guy really intrigues me, had to listen to his entire talk with Joe Rogan today. His name is Daryl Davis, and he is on a one man mission to end racism in America via education, the elimination of ignorance.

    I've also heard of this gentleman and his work, although I have never listened to or watched him discuss it. Thanks for sharing this resource, I will definitely check it out and I hope others do as well!

    This is the deep work of our times and those who do it are to be commended. People are people, I've found and, one on one, it is always possible to make a way with most, to create common cause and to find places and spaces of agreement and connection.

    I've done a bit of this work myself, although not in the direct and confrontational manner Daryl has. In being open and engaging, I have found that people open up to me and share their stories, why they have held prejudices against black folks and others. I've often found that it generally goes back to one incident that often happened during childhood where there was a bad experience with someone of color that then colored their perception of all people of color from that moment on. It is a typical human response and comes down to a safety and fear issue, which makes perfect sense. I've been blessed to have been able to break those stereotypes for a good number of people in my life integrating spaces in America and abroad, just by being who I am with my background and experience.

    It is all about the human connection. Actually showing people that we are more alike than different, no matter our skin color.

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    Default Re: Racism

    These days it really is all about the science. To counter arguments based upon incorrect underlying assumptions, it is necessary to know the facts as they stand. There are a few in this article, with links to other resources.

    How to fight racism using science
    Misguided assumptions about race are going mainstream, but hard facts can help you combat entrenched attitudes



    It seems we can’t move for comments about race dominating our media landscape, be it about an actor formerly known as a princess, or by an actor previously unknown to anyone outside of his famous acting dynasty. These are fractious times, and such debates appear to be increasing in frequency. But there are some fights for which you can arm yourself in advance – and when the argument is about race, the weapon of choice is science.

    Racism is a prejudice that has a longstanding relationship with science. The invention of race occurred in the age of empires and plunder, when men of the emerging discipline of science classified the people of the world, mostly from their armchairs. Carl Linnaeus is the father of biological taxonomy, having invented the system that we use today: genus and species – Homo sapiens. He was also a central figure in the emergence of scientific racism too, alongside Kant, Voltaire and a host of other European men.

    Classifications were based primarily on skin colour, some on a handful of skull measurements, and they also came with some shoddy value judgments: Linnaeus had the people of Africa as lazy and “governed by caprice”; Native Americans were “zealous and stubborn”; East Asians were haughty, greedy, and “ruled by opinions”. Voltaire believed that black people were a different species. All of these taxonomies were inherently hierarchical, with white Europeans always on top.

    In the 19th century, Darwin’s half-cousin Francis Galton and others tightened their scientific arguments for race though, as Darwin noted, no one could agree on how many races there actually were, the range being between one and 63. Galton was an amazing scientist, and a stunning racist. The most delicious irony about him is that the field he effectively established – human genetics – is the branch of science that has demonstrated unequivocally that race is not biologically meaningful. Modern genetics clearly shows that the way we colloquially define race does not align with the biology that underpins human variation. Instead, race is a cultural taxonomy – a social construct. This doesn’t mean it is invalid or unimportant, nor does it mean that race does not exist. Humans are social animals, and the way we perceive each other is of paramount importance. Race exists because we perceive it.

    Racism seems to be making a comeback in public life: the prime minister has a well-stocked back catalogue of racist remarks, most notably describing Congolese people as “piccanninies” with “watermelon smiles”. Antisemitism is a defining issue for the 21st-century Labour party. Sport has always suffered from racist fans, and in 2018, bananas were thrown on to pitches at black footballers such as Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, as they were routinely 30 years ago. The England cricketer Jofra Archer was subjected to racist abuse in a Test match in New Zealand in November.

    We all know someone who has casually racist opinions: the misattribution of elite athletic success to ancestry rather than training, that east Asian students are naturally better at maths; or that Jews are innately good with money. Racism may be back, so get tooled up, because science is no ally to racists. Here are some standard canards of prejudice, and why science says something different.

    Skin in the game


    What we see with our eyes is the merest fraction of a person. But humans are a highly visual species, and skin colour is the primary factor in allocating race. This idea is modern though, only becoming the primary classifier during the so-called Age of Enlightenment. Modern genetics reveals a much more complicated – and fascinating – picture.

    Lighter skin is, at least partially, an adaptation to less sunny skies, as a means of protecting us from folate deficiency. Homo sapiens originated as an African species, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we were ancestrally dark-skinned, nor that everyone was the same colour. Some of the differences we can see and measure between populations are local adaptations to evolutionary pressures such as food availability and disease. Similarly, genes for lighter pigmentation have been selected by an evolution away from the equator. But the palette of skin colour within the African continent is far greater than anywhere else, meaning that a simplistic model of selection based on exposure to the sun only explains a fraction of that diversity. There are 1.3 billion Africans, 42 million African Americans. Not only are these huge numbers, but the people in question are more diverse genetically than anyone else on Earth. And yet westerners refer to all of them as “black”. This is a scientifically meaningless classification, and one that is baked into western culture from five centuries of scientific racism. Stereotyping based on pigmentation is foolish, because racial differences are skin deep.

    These lands are your lands


    “England for the English” warbled Morrissey in his song The National Front Disco. Now that Mozza has given apparent support to For Britain, a political party even Nigel Farage thinks is full of “Nazis and racists”, it’s no longer clear the lyrics were ironic. Although Morrissey denies he is a racist, the sentiment is an old racist refrain. In July last year, President Trump suggested that if four elected US congresswomen didn’t like it in the US, they should go back to where they came from. Three of them were born in the United States and one is a Somali-born American citizen. Meanwhile, Trump’s paternal grandparents were German immigrants, his mother Scottish-born, his first wife Moravian, his third, Slovenian. It is never clear where the benchmark for indigeneity lies.

    Indigeneity is a tricky concept. The British Isles have been invaded throughout their history: 1066 was the most recent hostile conquest, but before that, we were occupied by Vikings, who followed Angles, Saxons, Alans, and dozens of other tribes. The Romans ruled for a while, with conscripts not from Rome but from all over their empire, including Gaul, the Mediterranean and sub-Saharan Africa.

    About 4,500 years ago, Britain was populated primarily with farmers who had European ancestors. DNA taken from the bones of the long dead suggests they were probably olive-skinned, with dark hair and brown eyes.

    The Beaker folk arrived in Britain about 4,400 years ago, and again according to ancient DNA, within a few centuries had replaced almost the entire population. We don’t know how or why, whether it was violence, disease, or something else.

    Before them there were darker-skinned hunter-gatherers, who had been there a few thousand years. Then it all gets a bit foggy. The earliest evidence of British humans is in the crumbling coastline of Happisburgh in Norfolk, where size nine footprints of an unknown species of human were set in soft stone 900,000 years ago.

    No country, people, political power or border is permanent. The only true indigenous Brits were not even our own species. So, when racists say “England for the English”, or when they talk about indigenous people, I do not know who they mean, or more specifically, when they mean. They probably don’t either.

    Pure blood


    White supremacists are obsessed with DNA. I spend time lurking in some of the nastiest corners of the internet, partially so that you don’t have to, but also to track their conversations about ancestry. Racist online cesspits such as Stormfront and 4Chan and 8Kun are flooded with thousands of posts about racial purity and ancestry-testing products. Occasionally, these commercial kits reveal previously unknown ancestry from people that white supremacists loathe. White purity is the key idea within white supremacy, and reactions are often conspiracy-fuelled (“the companies are owned by Jews”), or just absurd: “When you look in the mirror, do you see a jew [sic]? If not, you’re good,” which somewhat undermines the point of the tests.

    There are no purebred humans. Our family trees are matted webs, and all lines of our ancestry get tangled after a few generations. All Nazis have Jewish forebears, all racists have African ancestors. Non-racists often think that their ancestry is somehow pure too, and this can be bolstered by misinterpreting commercial genetic ancestry kits. But no matter how isolated or wholesome you think your family tree is, it is a node on a tangled bank, linked directly to everyone else on your continent after only a few centuries, and everyone in the world after a couple of millennia.

    Genealogy and genetic genealogy are not perfectly aligned, and due to the way DNA is shuffled during the production of sperm and egg, much is cumulatively lost over the generations. What this means is that you carry DNA from only half of your ancestors 11 generations back. You are genetically unrelated to people from whom you are actually descended as recently as the middle of the 18th century. You are descended from multitudes, most of whom you know nothing about, and many of whom you have no meaningful genetic relationship with.

    Black power


    The last white man to win the 100m final at the Olympics was Allan Wells in 1980, a year when the US boycotted the event. This was also the last time white men competed in the final, five in total. For many, this forms the basis of a long-standing assumption that black people – and more specifically African Americans, Jamaicans or Canadians – have a biological advantage for explosive energy sports.

    Unfortunately, elite sportspeople are an abysmal sample on which to make generalisations about populations – they are already wonderfully freakish outliers. The sample size is hopeless, too: the total number of athletes that have competed in the 100m Olympic final since Wells took the gold is 58. Five of them were African, and not from the west African countries from where the enslaved were taken. By this metric, Africans are exactly as successful as white people in the 100m since 1980.

    The argument that informs this misguided idea is that centuries of slavery have resulted in selection for explosive energy genes (about which we know very little). This is also a total nonstarter, for many reasons. Most significantly, we can look for the signals of evolutionary selection in African Americans since the beginning of transatlantic slavery, that is, genes that have proliferated in that population. A 2014 study of the DNA of 29,141 African Americans showed no signs of selection across the whole genome for any trait in the time since their ancestors were taken from their African homelands.

    But for the sake of argument, let’s pretend that genes were selected that related to power and strength. Why then do eastern Europeans dominate weightlifting, yet are absent from sprinting? Why do African Americans dominate in boxing, but not wrestling? Where are all the black sprint cyclists? Why is it that in the 50m freestyle in swimming in the whole history of the Olympics, the number of African American finalists is… one? None of these facts align with the slavery explanation for African American dominance in the 100m.

    The transatlantic slave trade also imported millions of West African people to South America. The number of South Americans of any ancestry to have competed in the 100m finals? Zero.

    The point is this: sprinters in the Olympics, or indeed any elite sportspeople, are not a dataset on which a statistician could draw any satisfactory conclusion. Yet it is precisely the data on which extremely popular racial stereotypes are based. Elite athletes deserve better praise than the belief that they have auspicious ancestry.
    Last edited by Mark/Rahkyt; 5th February 2020 at 16:31. Reason: add intro

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    Default Re: Racism

    I've had some extra time today so forgive the extra articles, I didn't want to leave and continue with my RL adventures before stopping at the abode of race and intelligence, a topic I've seen mentioned as an aside quite some number of times, in this space over the years. It is difficult for me not to address it every time that I've seen it but I haven't, generally, as it is an in-depth and fraught discussion. I find this article to address it superbly with many, many links and examples to the actual science and the pseudo-scientific discussions and implications that often obscure the very real differences that can be found between and within diverse populations.

    I find that just knowing how intricate the discussion is and recognizing the sheer impossibility of accurately coming to the conclusion many "race" scientists and supremacist apologists have just to make a splash, some money or noteriety, casts the debate in more of a social and cultural rather than scientific context which reveals the true intentions underlying the debate in the first place.

    Stop Talking About Race and IQ
    Take it from someone who did.

    By WILLIAM SALETAN



    The race-and-IQ debate is back. The latest round started a few weeks ago when Harvard geneticist David Reich wrote a New York Times op-ed in defense of race as a biological fact. The piece resurfaced Sam Harris’ year-old Waking Up podcast interview with Charles Murray, co-author of The Bell Curve, and launched a Twitter debate between Harris and Vox’s Ezra Klein. Klein then responded to Harris and Reich in Vox, Harris fired back, and Andrew Sullivan went after Klein. Two weeks ago, Klein and Harris released a two-hour podcast in which they fruitlessly continued their dispute.

    I’ve watched this debate for more than a decade. It’s the same wreck, over and over. A person with a taste for puncturing taboos learns about racial gaps in IQ scores and the idea that they might be genetic. He writes or speaks about it, credulously or unreflectively. Every part of his argument is attacked: the validity of IQ, the claim that it’s substantially heritable, and the idea that races can be biologically distinguished. The offender is denounced as racist when he thinks he’s just defending science against political correctness.

    I know what it’s like to be this person because, 11 years ago, I was that person. I saw a comment from Nobel laureate James Watson about the black-white IQ gap, read some journal articles about it, and bought in. That was a mistake. Having made that mistake, I’m in no position to throw stones at Sullivan, Harris, or anyone else. But I am in a position to speak to these people as someone who understands where they’re coming from. I believe I can change their thinking, because I’ve changed mine, and I’m here to make that case to them. And I hope those of you who find this whole subject vile will bear with me as I do.

    Here’s my advice: You can talk about the genetics of race. You can talk about the genetics of intelligence. But stop implying they’re the same thing. Connecting intelligence to race adds nothing useful. It overextends the science you’re defending, and it engulfs the whole debate in moral flames.

    I’m not asking anyone to deny science. What I’m asking for is clarity. The genetics of race and the genetics of intelligence are two different fields of research. In his piece in the Times, Reich wrote about prostate cancer risk, a context in which there’s clear evidence of a genetic pattern related to ancestry. (Black men with African ancestry in a specific DNA region have a higher prostate cancer risk than do black men with European ancestry in that region.) Reich steered around intelligence where, despite racial and ethnic gaps in test scores, no such pattern has been established.

    It’s also fine to discuss the genetics of IQ—there’s a serious line of scientific inquiry around that subject—and whether intelligence, in any population, is an inherited social advantage. We tend to worry that talk of heritability will lead to eugenics. But it’s also worth noting that, to the extent that IQ, like wealth, is inherited and concentrated through assortative mating, it can stratify society and undermine cohesion. That’s what much of The Bell Curve was about.

    The trouble starts when people who write or talk about the heritability of intelligence extend this idea to comparisons between racial and ethnic groups. Some people do this maliciously; others don’t. You can call the latter group naïve, credulous, or obtuse to prejudice. But they might be open to persuasion, and that’s my aim here. For them, the chain of thought might go something like this: Intelligence is partly genetic, and race is partly genetic. So maybe racial differences on intelligence tests can be explained, in part, by genetics.

    There are two scientific problems with making this kind of inference. The first is that bringing race into the genetic conversation obscures the causal analysis. Genes might play no role in racial gaps on IQ tests. But suppose they did: To that extent, what would be the point of talking about race? Some white kids, some black kids, and some Asian kids would have certain genes that marginally favor intelligence. Others wouldn’t. It’s still the genes, not race, that would matter.

    This is a rare point of consensus in the IQ debate. In his interview with Harris, Murray notes that in The Bell Curve, race was a crude proxy for genetics. Since the book’s publication in 1994, our ability to assess genetic differences has come a long way. Today, scientists are evaluating thousands of genes that correlate with small increments in IQ. “The blurriness of race is noise in the signal,” Murray tells Harris. “It’s going to obscure … genetic differences in IQ.”

    “Race science,” the old idea that race is a biologically causal trait, may live on as an ideology of hate. But as an academic matter, it’s been discredited. We now know that genes flow between populations as they do between families, blurring racial categories and reshuffling human diversity. Genetic patterns can be found within groups, as in the case of prostate cancer. But even then, as Ian Holmes notes in the Atlantic, the patterns correlate with ancestry or population, not race.

    When you drag race into the IQ conversation, you bring heat, not light.

    The second problem with extending genetic theories of IQ to race is that it confounds the science of heritability. Sullivan and Harris cite research that indicates IQ is, loosely speaking, 40 percent to 80 percent heritable. It can seem natural to extend these estimates to comparisons between racial groups. That’s what I did a decade ago. But it’s a mistake because these studies are done within, not between, populations. They measure, for example, the degree to which being someone’s twin or biological sibling, rather than simply growing up in the same household, correlates with similarity of IQ. They don’t account for many other differences that come into play when comparing whole populations. So if you bring race into the calculation, you’re stretching those studies beyond their explanatory power. And you’re introducing complicating factors: not just education, income, and family structure, but neighborhood, net worth—and discrimination, which is the variable most likely to correlate directly with race.


    Murray and others have answers to these objections. They argue that education programs have failed to close racial gaps, that studies haven’t proved that getting adopted has much lasting effect on kids’ IQ scores, and that collective increases in IQ scores are based on factors other than “general” intelligence. These are complex disputes full of nuances about replicating studies, interpreting test questions, and extrapolating from trend lines. But notice how far we’ve drifted from biology. The science here is oblique, abstract, and tenuous. Are you still comfortable speculating about genetics? Are you confident, for instance, that studies that compare black children to white children properly account for family assets and neighborhood, which differ sharply by race even within the same income bracket?

    It’s one thing to theorize about race and genes to assist in disease prevention, diagnosis, or treatment, as Reich has done. But before you seize on his essay to explain racial gaps in employment, ask yourself: Given the dubiousness of linking racial genetics to IQ, what would my words accomplish? Would they contribute to prejudice? Would they be used to blame communities for their own poverty? Would I be provoking thought, or would I be offering whites an excuse not to think about the social and economic causes of inequality?

    Murray, Sullivan, and Harris try to soften their speculations by stipulating, as I once did, that even if racial differences in IQ are genetic, you shouldn’t make assumptions about any individual. They’re correct that it’s both wrong and irrational to make such inferences from aggregate data. But it’s also easier to treat people as individuals when you don’t start with racial generalizations.

    If you’re libertarian or conservative, you might think I’m calling for censorship. I’m not. I’m just asking for precision. Genes are the mechanism under discussion. So talking about the genetics of race and the genetics of IQ is more scientific, not less, than pulling race and IQ together.

    Many progressives, on the other hand, regard the whole topic of IQ and genetics as sinister. That, too, is a mistake. There’s a lot of hard science here. It can’t be wished away, and it can be put to good use. The challenge is to excavate that science from the muck of speculation about racial hierarchies.

    What’s the path forward? It starts with letting go of race talk. No more podcasts hyping gratuitous racial comparisons as “forbidden knowledge.” No more essays speaking of grim ethnic truths for which, supposedly, we must prepare. Don’t imagine that if you posit an association between race and some trait, you can add enough caveats to erase the impression that people can be judged by their color. The association, not the caveats, is what people will remember.

    If you’re interested in race and IQ, you might bristle at these admonitions. Perhaps you think you’re just telling the truth about test scores, IQ heritability, and the biological reality of race. It’s not your fault, you might argue, that you’re smeared and misunderstood. Harris says all of these things in his debate with Klein. And I cringe as I hear them, because I know these lines. I’ve played this role. Harris warns Klein that even if we “make certain facts taboo” and refuse “to ever look at population differences, we will be continually ambushed by these data.” He concludes: “Scientific data can’t be racist.”

    No, data aren’t racist. But using racial data to make genetic arguments isn’t scientific. The world isn’t better off if you run ahead of science, waving the flag of innate group differences. And if everyone is misunderstanding your attempts to simultaneously link and distinguish race and IQ, perhaps you should take the hint. The problem isn’t that people are too dumb to understand you. It’s that you’re not understanding the social consequences of your words. When you drag race into the IQ conversation, you bring heat, not light. Your arguments for scientific candor will be more sound and more persuasive in a race-neutral discussion.

    The biology of intelligence is full of important questions. To what extent is it one faculty or many? How do we get it, grow it, maintain it, and use it? If it’s heritable, should we think of it less as merit and more as luck, like inheriting money? To what extent does a class structure based on intelligence duplicate or conceal a class structure based on family wealth? Is intelligence truly supplanting other kinds of inheritance as a competitive advantage? Is it unleashing social mobility? Or is it, through assortative mating, entrenching inequality? These are much better conversations than the one we’ve been stuck in. Let’s get on with them.

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    Default Re: Racism

    So, let's get down to it. Speaking of human differences, let's go back a bit further, to see if we can find the root of change, of differentiation and evolution within the human family. This article is a beginning to that search.



    Neanderthal discovery sheds new light on human history

    By James Rogers

    Scientists at Princeton University have made a stunning Neanderthal ancestry discovery that sheds new light on human history.

    Neanderthal DNA has typically been associated with modern humans outside of Africa. However, by developing a new method for finding Neanderthal DNA in the human genome, the Princeton researchers have, for the first time, searched for Neanderthal ancestry in African populations, as well as those outside the African continent.

    A paper on the research has been published in the journal Cell.

    NEANDERTHAL BEACHCOMBERS WENT DIVING FOR SEASHELLS, SCIENTISTS DISCOVER

    “When the first Neanderthal genome was sequenced, using DNA collected from ancient bones, it was accompanied by the discovery that modern humans in Asia, Europe and America inherited approximately 2 percent of their DNA from Neanderthals — proving humans and Neanderthals had interbred after humans left Africa,” the scientists explained, in a statement. “A comparable catalogue of Neanderthal ancestry in African populations, however, has remained an acknowledged blind spot for the field due to technical constraints and the assumption that Neanderthals and ancestral African populations were geographically isolated from each other.”

    The new computational method for detecting Neanderthal ancestry, dubbed IBDmix, has already delivered results.

    “This is the first time we can detect the actual signal of Neanderthal ancestry in Africans,” said co-first author Lu Chen, a postdoctoral research associate in Princeton's Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics (LSI), who is co-first author of the study. “And it surprisingly showed a higher level than we previously thought.”

    GRISLY DISCOVERY: BONES REVEAL NEANDERTHAL CHILD WAS EATEN BY LARGE BIRD

    Researchers found that Neanderthal ancestry in Africans was not due to an “independent interbreeding event” between Neanderthals and African populations. Instead, they came to the conclusion that migrations of ancient Europeans back into Africa introduced Neanderthal ancestry into populations in the African continent.



    By comparing data from simulations of human history to data from real people, experts also found that some of the Neanderthal ancestry detected in Africans was the result of human DNA introduced into the Neanderthal genome. “This human-to-Neanderthal gene flow involved an early dispersing group of humans out of Africa, occurring at least 100,000 years ago — before the Out-of-Africa migration responsible for modern human colonization of Europe and Asia and before the interbreeding event that introduced Neanderthal DNA into modern humans,” the scientists said, in the statement.

    The study, which was funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, was led by Joshua Akey, a professor at the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics. The researchers acknowledge that they were able to analyze a limited number of African populations and hope that their findings will inspire further study.

    CLIMATE CHANGE DROVE SOME NEANDERTHALS TO CANNIBALISM

    Experts have gained fresh insight into Neanderthals in recent years. In 2018, for example, archaeologists in Poland identified the prehistoric bones of a Neanderthal child eaten by a large bird.



    In another study released in 2018, scientists suggested that climate change played a larger part in Neanderthals’ extinction than previously thought.

    SOME OF OLDEST NEANDERTHAL BONES HAVE BEEN DNA TESTED SHOWING MORE THAN 70 DIFFERENCES

    Last year, researchers in France reported that climate change drove some Neanderthals to cannibalism.

    In another study, experts studied seashells fashioned into tools that were discovered in Italy in 1949 to reveal how some Neanderthals had a much closer connection to the sea than was previously thought, according to a statement released by the University of Colorado Boulder.

    The closest human species to homo sapiens, Neanderthals lived in Eurasia for around 350,000 years. Scientists in Poland report that Neanderthals in Europe mostly became extinct 35,000 years ago. However, there are a number of theories on the timing of Neanderthals’ extinction, with experts saying that it could have occurred 40,000, 27,000 or 24,000 years ago.

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